Whitman, Borges, and Ironic Detachment

By Jeremy Paden, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Poetry & Translation Faculty

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At residency this past May, I lectured on the tradition of response poems to Walt Whitman. The briefest of overviews concerning literary imitation was provided; and, we discussed how the response poem to Whitman seems to be unique in the history of literature. Not only are there a large number of poems that address Whitman as literary predecessor, countless poets write in a vein they consider to be Whitmanic. Continue reading “Whitman, Borges, and Ironic Detachment”

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Slam 101

By Kathleen Driskell, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Program Director

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The Spalding MFA in Writing Program continues to provide strong traditional creative writing courses in many genres at the graduate level, but creative writing programs should be . . . well  . . . creative. Continue reading “Slam 101”

SPALDING MFA OFFERS BOOK-LENGTH POETRY MANUSCRIPT WORKSHOP AT THE FALL 2018 RESIDENCY, NOV 9-18

By Kathleen Driskell, Program Director, Poetry Faculty Member

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To date I’ve published four full-length books of poetry, and while it’s thrilling to hold one of my new books in my hands, one of my truly favorite moments happens when I realize my heap of new poems is high enough to begin thinking about how they should be collected into a manuscript. Continue reading “SPALDING MFA OFFERS BOOK-LENGTH POETRY MANUSCRIPT WORKSHOP AT THE FALL 2018 RESIDENCY, NOV 9-18”

Writing Rooms

By Maureen Morehead, Spalding MFA Poetry Faculty
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George Bernard Shaw’s Writing Shed

 

For twenty years I have written in the first floor family room of my house. I have an office on the second. It’s a spacious room with manila-colored walls, a vaulted ceiling, a large palladium window, an antique desk, a trestle table with baskets and writing magazines, a magnifying mirror I use for putting on makeup, two red chairs, a filing cabinet, a printer, and a black three-drawer bow-front dresser in which I store paper and envelopes, folders, paper clips, staples, rubber bands—the stuff of a writer. Continue reading “Writing Rooms”

Finding Love in Loss: An Interview with Kathleen Driskell

Interview by Caitlin McCann, Originally appeared in StorySouth, Back Issue #41
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Kathleen Driskell

Kathleen Driskell’s most recent book, Next Door to the Dead, is a Kentucky Voices selection published by The University Press of Kentucky. In this collection of poetry, Driskell reflects upon the experience of living next door to a graveyard. A graveyard she was initially led to believe was full, essentially inactive. She quickly discovered the opposite was true when one afternoon she had to bring in groceries while a funeral was being held next door—a moment she recounts in “Living Next to the Dead Acre.” Then there are also the teenagers who think themselves to be bold and cool to creep around a cemetery in the middle of the night, which she writes about in “What Haunts” But Driskell does not stay on our plane of existence for very long. The poems shift into the perspectives of the graveyard’s inhabitants, thus creating a community that would not otherwise exist. Each neighbor’s resurrected voice is distinct, relatable, and poignant. Driskell’s ability to make the 167-year-old death of a mother and her infant in “Markers” feel fresh and personal is astounding. Driskell writes of her neighbors with such tenderness and reverence. She is able to transcend the book’s focused location to deftly speak on themes and societal issues like love, war, fried chicken, and the female mummy in “Tchaenhotep: Mummy at the Kentucky Science Center” who is doomed to be the subject of the male gaze. Driskell’s voice as a poet is admirable—there is strength in its quietude, and it is this subtle strength that allows Next Door to the Dead to resonate long after you have read the last poem. Continue reading “Finding Love in Loss: An Interview with Kathleen Driskell”